Man’s juban
Ramie (homespun); silk (collar)
Hand painted with sumi

The waterfall, gathered kindling and gourd on this hand painted juban evoke the legend of Yoro no Taki (the waterfall at Yoro), in which a young man sets out to find sake as a treat for his father, but is about to come back empty handed. The gods take pity on him, and when he fills his gourd with water from the waterfall, the water is transformed into sake. This juban would have been a special order, and dates back to the Meiji period. The workmanship is exacting. It looks as though the artist was accustomed to working on hanging scrolls, and wielded his brush to take maximum advantage of the play of light and dark ink. The painting is coordinated over all of the panels of the juban, and so would have taken some time to plan so the panels could form the intended ‘seamless’ panorama.

This juban looks as though it was well loved by its owner, and probably worn for many seasons. The removable silk collar is comparatively newer than the juban. Nearly invisible inside both sleeve openings are small reinforcing panels to prevent wear at the wrists.

Below, a small bird in flight from the right front chest of the juban. The artist has painted the bird at an unusual angle, veering away from the viewer.

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